Problems with Marvel Avengers Game: Accessible Game Review.1

Problems with Marvel Avengers: Accessible Game Review Part 1, now on YouTube. If you enjoy this video and would like to see more, please subscribe to Phoebs Does Technology Reviews!

I’ve been looking forward to the new Marvel Avengers game for a few months, ever since I began getting into the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies this Summer, and found I absolutely loved them. The game is available on Playstation and Xbox, and after my preorder of the game failed because I ran out of money ordering other things, I ordered an Xbox version of it shortly after it’s release date last week, along with the steelbook.

I didn’t get a chance to play it when it first arrived _ having had a lot of previous engagements _ but because I wanted to do some research for a blog that will be out on here tomorrow, I put it in and installed the game last night after work. I remained excited about it while it loaded _ having seen a few clips and photos of it in previous days _ and as is often the case when a game first loads _ found I was able to use the main controls. However, the problem then arose when I got to the laser tag bit, when I found that I was able to Aim in with Lt on my Xbox Adaptive Controller, but that I would have to hold it down while turning round, and then shoot with Rt.

I find it difficult to hold a button down for a long time while doing something else, which is why Toggle Options are so important to me. In most shooter games, new ones have included Accessibility Options like Toggle Aim _ meaning someone like myself could just hit Lt (or whatever button that game has for Aim) once to let us aim on an object, then move round, and to just shoot when we’re ready.

After discovering the problem, I paused the game, and started looking through Settings. Most of the settings the game had were for subtitles, volume, and ones that would help with colour blindness and regular blindness, but when I went over to controller, there was nothing other than showing the controller layout, but even when I went to Gameplay Options, there was nothing. Seeing this, I then decided to try and see what the Latchbox would be like with it, and set it up to work with Lt. When everything was set up, I placed the switch by my head, and hit it to see if it would work. Basically, the light to indicate it was toggled on came on, but hitting it did nothing.

The reason I include Accessible Game Review.1 in the title of this blog is because I still want to play this game, and I would hate to give it a bad rap overall, based only on accessibility options, cuz if the right Toggle Options were added as soon as possible, I could give the game the proper game review it deserves. Having options like subtitles, text size, and options for blindness and colour blindness is brill, but if you can’t invite everyone to play together with the options that are better for them, then do you really want your game to be widely played?

I truly hope Crystal Dynamics and SquareEnix _ the companies that developed Marvel Avengers _ can introduce Toggle Options to the game soon, because otherwise it shows ableism towards one part of the disabled community!

Experiments with Adaptive Gaming: How Much Easier Does a Manfrotto Arm Make it to Press More Than One Button at the One Time?

Thanks to everyone who’s been viewing and enjoying all my recent blogs, vlogs and podcasts, even the unexpected blog and vlog from last night. More will be following on all three platforms this weekend and next, then for a few weekends then I will be focusing on getting more out on the blog and podcasts, at least until I can get a few more reviews out there and so I can bring forward some other stuff.

But in this blog _ which is actually planned _ I’m bringing you the last of my Experiments with Adaptive Gaming blogs, for now. If there’s any other bits of equipment you think I should think about trying out, please reach out to me over social media. Someone told me last week how they don’t like seeing the social media places I have on the top of the blog, but if you’d like to follow them, they’re in a couple of my previous blogs, and I mention them in my YouTube videos and podcasts, so if you’d like to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud, or follow Technology Reviews on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, and subscribe to the Phoebs Does Technology Reviews YouTube Channel, all the information will be there.

Like the other Experiments with Adaptive Gaming blogs I’ve done, the Manfrotto arm _ and most of the other equipment you use with it _ was loaned to me by Special Effect, a UK charity helping to get disabled people of all ages back into gaming. The Xbox Elite Controller, the Xbox Adaptive Controller, and the yellow switch are the only bits of equipment I actually own.

As the gaming world gets bigger, and the controls in games get even more compiled, it becomes a lot harder for people with disabilities to play games. Many games require you to hold two or more buttons down at the one time, and although Toggle Options have been introduced to help with holding Lt down to act as Accelerate in Racing games, or to help with Aim in Shooters, there are still many games when you need to press one button for jumping, while you move forward with either the left or right stick (depending on what stick you’ve customised the sticks on your controller to act as your main).

This can obviously be difficult for people who can’t jump around their controller quick enough to do, and so this is another option for people to use.

The Arm I’ve been loaned is the Manfrotto Variable Friction Mounting arm _ which costs £114 _ and as well as this, you will need a small triangular plate _ costing £20 _ and a Super Clamp with Stud _ which costs £31. There are cheaper Manfrotto arms to consider on Amazon, and this blog will be updated in future if I find out they do the same thing.

You can stick any bit of gaming equipment to the Manfrotto arm that suits you, with velcro working with lighter bits of equipment like switches, and Dual Lock working with controllers or joysticks. You can then place the arm near any part of your body that you want to use it with, but for me, I found it easier placing it by my head, and using my eyebrow to click any time I wanted to use the switch.

As usual, I just put the switch I wanted to use into the 3mm jacks at the back of the Xbox Adaptive Controller, so your equipments attached, depending on what it is you can figure out where it goes on the controller.

So that I could just play around with it without feeling bad for dying, I tried it out with Crash Bandicoot N’Sane Trilogy _ a game I only tried once when I first got it with the Xbox One S for Christmas 2018 _ and hadn’t tried it again. But with the Manfrotto Variable Friction Mounting arm, I was able to play a lot easier. The clip below shows this.

Playing Crash Bandicoot N’Sane Trilogy with Your Head and Mouth Using the Xbox Elite Series 2, XAC and Manfrotto Arm with Switches.

Overall, I would say the Manfrotto Variable Friction Mounting arm is good, but it’s price gives it a disadvantage regarding class, because what percentage of disabled people come from high-earning households? I would like to order one so I can play other games with it, like Assassin’s Creed, but yeah, the price makes it the most expensive of the equipment I’ve tried _ without adding in the add-ons.

Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2: How Accessible is It?

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Welcome back guys to Technology Reviews, and today I will be reviewing the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2! This is the latest update of xbox controllers in Xbox’s Elite range, working on Xbox One and other consoles, including the upcoming Series X, and which was voted the best of E3 2019 by Hardware/Peripheral when it was released late last year! Although I needed help getting it set up to work with co-pilot which took a few months because as always I can’t be bothered using my brain (I’m being sarcastic guys _ disabled people do have a sense of humour) I got it set up a few months ago, and have had an easy enough time with it since. I won’t be talking about the set up in this review though, but if you want, I could do a separate blog on it in the future.

But before I start this review here’s a reminder of where you can follow me on social media. You can follow me on Twitter at @Phoebslyle and you can follow this blog on Twitter at @TechReviewsUK_. You can also follow me on Instagram at: therealphoebslyle, where if you also want to follow Technology Reviews it is: technologyreviewsuk, and you can also follow me on Soundcloud at: Phoebs Lyle, where I’m trying to set up a podcast.

But now let’s get in to my review of the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2.

The first thing you see when you get the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is the picture of the controller itself on the front, as well as the black handle on top of the box for opening it. As we head round the back, you see a couple more details, and at the back there’s two diagrams _ one for the limitless customisation you have on the front of the controller, and another diagram showing the durable components, along with more information, including some about the rechargeable long life battery that extends your gameplay. All this information is available on the xbox website, and in many different languages at the back.

When you open the box, the first thing you’ll see is the case _ which in itself is important because you can charge your controller in it _ then when you open that, you get your controller. (We’ll have a closer look at the controller later). Under the controller, you’ll see all the different thumbstick and d-pad options you have, and this is something I find very helpful because when I discovered I couldn’t use the circular d-pad already on your controller when it arrives, we were able to change it to the included magnetic original d-pad which I can use fine.

Different from the original Xbox Elite Controller, this one has 3 profiles you can use to customise your gameplay whatever way you like _ first introduced with the Xbox Adaptive Controller which is a controller hub for people with disabilities. Some other features you have are the rubberised grips going round the back and front, whereas before it was only around the back, an included key, which let’s you adjust the stiffness of the sticks, and most of all it has an internal battery and a long battery life. On the back, you still have your triggers and bumpers, and these triggers can be customised whether you want to be able to hold them down completely, hold them down half way, or just tap them. But as I game only using the front of the controller in co-pilot with the adaptive controller because I use my head and a chopstick in my mouth, I can’t really talk about the back controls in detail. Saying this, depending on if you can still use your hands and fingers and how much control you have, there is a chance you could still use this controller.

Also in the case _ as already hinted to _ is a charger brick… or clamp. If you set the charger clamp the right way and plug a usb into it before putting your controller on it, it charges like that, but you could also put the controller directly on the clamp, close the case and stretch a usb-c through the case to charge it. Alternatively if you want to still game while your controller is charging, you can plug it directly into your xbox console, or as I discovered a few weeks ago, if you’re sitting near a plug, still want to game and can’t move for any reason (say you’re a disabled gamer and it would be difficult to move), it still charges and works if you plug a USB into your controller and one into the nearest plug. Most days when I game at the minute I’m in one of the arm chairs at my house, so that’s easier for me.

Most of your customisations you do electronically in the Xbox Accessories app, e.g if you want to use the swap sticks function _ possible with the Elite Controller by swapping over your axis _ or if there’s any more button remapping you want to do. All your customisations will then show up in gameplay, which for me makes it easier because I play primarily using the right stick. The only bit of improvement I think Xbox could possibly add to their customisation options though is having an option for the stick clicks as that is something I find difficult.

So how accessible is the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2? For those with physical disabilities who are still able to press and hold, it might be accessible enough. Some of the buttons are slippery so they can be hard to hold on to, but like other accessories, it depends on what you can do. Although I can’t use the back buttons, I like how much you can edit them _ good for some people _ but my favourite features has to be how you can change your d-pad to whichever one’s easier, among others.

Selling for around £180, the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 can be bought at any Microsoft store, Amazon store, game store, or at other shops.